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Eating for Two—Tips for a Healthy Mom and Baby

Posted at 12:30 PM, Aug 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-20 14:30:31-04

The idea that a pregnant woman is really eating for two is somewhat of a myth. Although a woman who is pregnant will likely alter her eating habits to meet the needs of her changing body, it is not necessary to double your calorie intake per day. The most important thing to keep in mind is maintaining a healthy, balanced diet to help your baby grow. In general, the average pregnant woman only needs about 300 extra healthy calories per day. However, it is important to talk to your doctor about how much weight you should gain based on your personal needs, especially if you are expecting twins.

The Guidelines for Pregnancy Weight Gain:

  • If your pre-pregnancy weight is in the average range for your height, you should gain about 25 to 35 pounds.
  • If you are underweight for your height, you should gain about 28 to 40 pounds.
  • If you are overweight for your height, you should gain about 15 to 25 pounds.
  • If you are having twins, you should gain about 37 to 54 pounds, assuming your pre-pregnancy weight was average.

How to gain healthy pregnancy weight

Reaching for junk food is an easy way to gain weight, but that does not mean it’s the best and healthiest way to gain weight for your baby. Also, gaining too much weight during pregnancy can create potential health problems and possible complications during delivery, so sticking to food plan is ideal.

Pregnant women need a larger amount of some vitamins and minerals. It is important to stick to a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, dairy, grains, and lean or vegetable-based proteins. Try to limit your intake of empty calories from solid fats and added sugars.